|the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross “Gathering people together in the love of Christ.”||Office@HolyCrossRedmond.org
11526 – 162nd Avenue NE
Redmond, WA 98052
|Tuesday, April 25, 2017|
In the mid-1950s at St. Thomas in Medina, Fr. Ken Allen conducted a once-a-week class on the Old Testament to 12 women parishioners, who soon became a close community. Several of them were from Redmond and after meeting for a year or so, it occurred to them that they could have a similar experience with their friends and neighbors in Redmond. In the fall of 1960, with several of the St. Thomas parishioners as the nucleus, 12 women started to meet for Bible study and continued to meet for 12 years. The group became a close community. Soon the women involved their families in the fellowship, and they thought they had the basis for a mission church which they voted to call St. Timothy. The Bishop at first refused their request for mission status because they had no sponsoring parish. After some help from Fr. Allen and a successful Lenten Series, the Bishop agreed to allow St. Timothy to become a mission. The first services were held in the Chapel at Green’s Funeral Home in Redmond on September 9, 1962.
In the early 1960s, another group of Episcopalians in the town of Juanita, west of Redmond and north of Kirkland, began meeting in neighborhood homes to discuss formation of a church. After several years of working and planning, they became St. Gregory, a mission church of St. John, Kirkland. Public worship began in September 1965 in the Juanita Community Hall.
The diocese had an existing parish in St. John, Kirkland, and so created the Lake Washington Parish that included St. John and the two missions of St. Timothy, Redmond and St. Gregory, Juanita. St. John provided the support functions for the two missions and each had a representative on St. John’s vestry. St. John and the Diocese provided clergy for the mission churches. This arrangement continued until 1972 when the Lake Washington parish was dissolved and both missions reported directly to the Diocese.
Formation of Holy Cross
In July 1974, the Diocese decided that the two missions should merge into one. The combined congregations met and decided to call the new combined mission The Church Of The Holy Cross. The mission by this time had permanent clergy and the community met for worship every Sunday for seven years in Green’s Chapel. On April 23, 1981 we held a ground-breaking ceremony on the present site and began new construction of our own building. We completed the present church in November 1981 and held the first service on Thanksgiving Day. Each Sunday, temporary partitions divided the parish hall for Sunday School, but the space soon became too crowded. A temporary trailer handled the overload until it, too, became inadequate and we decided to build an education building to the rear of the present church. Using parish labor under the direction of a parishioner in the construction business, we completed the education building and dedicated it on Palm Sunday, 1986.
Mission to Parish
The recently retired rector, Fr. Peter Snow, was installed as Vicar on April 21, 1991 after serving for almost three years as Interim. Upon his installation, he set a goal of moving the mission to parish status in one year. This required us to become completely self-supporting, which we accomplished in the spring of 1992.
In the fall of 1990, two parishioners received permission from the Vestry to start a preschool in the education building on weekdays. They named the preschool Best Beginnings and it grew rapidly. Today it is considered one of the premier preschools in the area.
The Sunday School also continued to grow and soon the temporary trailers were back. We raised money through the sale of bonds and donations, and again using parish labor under the direction of a parishioner, we doubled the size of the education building, completing the work in the fall of 1996. At the same time we expanded the parking areas and re-landscaped the property.
In 1993, we acquired a two-acre parcel of land with a house and some outbuildings adjacent to the church on the east. We arranged financing, bought the property, and for a couple of years rented the house for income. In the summer of 1998 when the parish again needed more space, the vestry decided to convert the house into our administrative offices.
Throughout its history, Holy Cross has been a caring community that welcomes new people and encourages all communicants to grow in their spiritual life. An early mission statement, “To discover Christ in ourselves, in each other and the world around us” was changed in 1997, to “To create whole, healthy, thinking, committed disciples of Christ,” and in 2006 to “Gathering people together in the love of Christ”. Since 2000, we supported the multi-year process of ordination for four of our parishioners. Other communicants show their faith by the way they lead their lives, interact with others, and raise their children. Our parish is moving ahead on fulfilling its mission statement.
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